Two big rivalry wins for NSU in final games at Jack Dobbins Field House

From NSU Sports Information

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Overtime win over rival closes out historic facility
Northeastern State defeats Central Oklahoma, 83-71 in overtime, awaits MIAA tourney fate

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Northeastern State men’s basketball team closed out Jack Dobbins Field House in style, defeating arch-rival Central Oklahoma 83-71 in overtime Wednesday night in front of a capacity crowd.

The RiverHawks (19-7, 12-6 MIAA) captured the season sweep over the Bronchos (12-13, 10-7 MIAA), while keeping hopes alive of a first-round bye in next week’s MIAA Championship.

Junior guard Bryton Hobbs led NSU with a near triple-double of 22 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. He never stepped off the floor and outscored UCO 8-3 in overtime.

The Bronchos shot just 1-for-8 in the extra session, while NSU was 5-for-6 from the field and a perfect 5-for-5 from the free-throw line.

Senior forward Jermaine Bransford finished with 18 points and seven rebounds. Senior guard Ethan Anderson knocked down a season-high five three-point field goals to end with 17 points, and sophomore forward Landon DeMasters added 11.

Overall, Northeastern State shot 45 percent (27-for-60) from the field, 32 percent (6-for-19) from behind the three-point line and 74 percent (23-for-31) at the free-throw line.

Central Oklahoma shot 43 percent (26-for-60) from the field, 33 percent (7-for-21) from beyond the arc and just 50 percent (12-for-24) at the charity stripe.

Spencer Smith paced the visitors with 21 points and eight boards. Jamell Cormier added 19 and Josh Gibbs dropped 18. The rest of the team combined to score just 13 points.

Northeastern State found the early seven-point advantage. Anderson knocked down two-straight triples to put the RiverHawks on top 16-9 at the 14:31 mark.

Central Oklahoma quickly erased that deficit, however, and the visitors were able to tie the contest at 23-23 midway through the first half.

Neither team led by more than three points the rest of the opening 20 minutes. That was until Cormier drained a triple with three seconds to play to give the Bronchos the 42-38 halftime edge.

Central Oklahoma extended its lead to five points on two separate occasions early in the second half, but the road side could not shake off the RiverHawks.

NSU finally regained the lead following yet another trey from Anderson with 8:45 to play, and senior guard Christian Mack put NSU on top by four on the team’s next possession with a three-pointer of his own.

UCO regained the lead following a Gibbs three-pointer with 3:57 to play, and the visitors stayed on top for the next 3:44.

Both teams had plenty of chances to steal the game, none better than the waning moments of regulation. DeMasters tied the game at 68-68 and got fouled by Smith with 13 seconds to go, but he missed the free throw. Cormier had a chance to win the game for Central Oklahoma, but his contested shot in the lane went behind the basket and an extra session was required to settle the score.

Overtime turned into the Bryton Hobbs Show. He scored eight of NSU’s 15 points, none prettier than a spinning layup through traffic with 1:24 left to put his team on top 78-71. The home team made all five free throws late to fend off their rivals and earn the extra-session victory over UCO.

NSU’s six seniors were honored prior to the game, and they finished with a combined 48 points. The seniors who played their final regular-season home game were Anderson, Bransford, Zach Jones, Mack, Jon Miller, and John Schneider.

Following the historic victory, the raucous student section stormed the court and celebrated an epic ending to the 58-year facility.

Northeastern State will now sit back and watch the final weekend of the regular season. The RiverHawks need a loss from Washburn, Fort Hays State or Northwest Missouri State in order to avoid the first round in the MIAA Championship and receive a bye to the quarterfinals in Kansas City.

If all three teams win out, then NSU would earn the No. 5 seed in the MIAA Championship and would host whoever finishes No. 12 in the opening round March 4.

 

WOMEN

NSU closes out Jack Dobbins Field House with historic win
Seniors combine for 42 points in final home game, RiverHawks clinch No. 3 seed

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Northeastern State women’s basketball team defeated Central Oklahoma 64-58 in front of a capacity crowd in the final game inside legendary Jack Dobbins Field House.

The RiverHawks (19-7, 14-4 MIAA) clinched the No. 3 seed in next week’s MIAA Championship, while the Bronchos (9-16, 2-15 MIAA) lost for the 14th time in their last 15 matchups.

The three seniors who played their final game inside JDF and were honored following the game were Sarah Green, Taylor Lewis and Tosha Tyler. The trio combined for a career 47-3 home record and has now won 97 games together. They finished their senior year 11-0 at home.

They combined for 42 points, led by a game-high 21 from Tyler. Lewis added 15 and seven rebounds, and Green recorded six points and seven boards.

NSU shot 47 percent (24-for-51) from the field, 40 percent (8-for-20) from beyond the arc and 89 percent (8-for-9) at the charity stripe.

Central Oklahoma shot 43 percent (23-for-54) from the field, 23 percent (5-for-22) from downtown and 64 percent (7-for-11) at the line.

The Bronchos were led by Alyssa Fuxa, who finished with 14 points. Britney Morgan added 12 and Jill Bryan dropped 11 for the visitors.

UCO found the early advantage, jumping out to an early 13-6 lead following a Bryan layup at the 14:58 mark.

Another Bryan bucket at 7:46 gave the road squad a 24-14 cushion, but Northeastern State was able to dwindle the lead down to just 29-27 at intermission.

NSU came out of the locker room the aggressor, and the home side was able to tie the game at 17:30 with a jumper from Tyler. A Lewis layup on the next possession gave the RiverHawks their first lead since early in the contest

The two sides went back and forth the next 13 minutes, but a jumper from Tyler at 3:44 gave Northeastern State the lead for good.

Sophomore guard Chelsey Stricklen hit a big bucket with a little less than two minutes to play to give the home side a three-point lead, and Lewis connected on a contested three-point shot with 29 seconds left to ice the game.

The RiverHawks did not allow Central Oklahoma to score on any of its final six possessions. Savannah Hamilton hit a jumper at the buzzer, but the result was already decided as NSU took the six-point triumph.

Northeastern State will sit out both the final weekend of the regular season and the opening round of the MIAA Championship. The team will next compete in the MIAA Quarterfinals March 8 in Kansas City. The RiverHawks will await the winner of the 6 vs. 11 matchup, which will be contested at the top seed’s site March 5.

 

Cedrique Flemming is the Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations at Northeastern State University.